4 Questions Pastors Must Ask Themselves At The End Of Every Year
Whether you are a pastor, elder, church leader, church staff member, church board member, or search committee member, it is crucial to take a step back every so often and reflect on your life. We can easily get caught up in the next “thing” that’s happening, and by the time we actually take a break, we're 3 years into feeling emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually spent.
Reflecting at the end of every year gives you the chance to look at what God has done in your family, church, staff, and/or ministry. It also will show you places that your leadership can improve or what areas are your strengths.
Here are four questions to guide you and your church staff team as you reflect on this past year.
1. What have you learned about your ministry this year?
Because new people are coming in and out of your church every year, your ministry is hopefully constantly evolving and changing. Your church-wide culture also evolves, your congregation experiences a year's worth of events and ministry, so the way you connect with your church may also evolve over time. So, what have you learned about your ministry or church staff this year? How has your culture shifted? What were new teams or ministries that you implemented? What went well and what didn’t? What can you do better this year?
2. What have you learned about God this year?
Have there been times or situations this year that have caused you to lean more heavily on strength that wasn’t your own? Was there a conflict that only could have been resolved by the help of God? What have you learned about his grace, love, and sovereignty? I find that when I reflect at the end of the year, there are usually one or two themes that God was trying to teach me that year. As a church leader, it's important to prioritize these questions so that you don't miss the communication that God is having with you.
3. What have you learned about yourself this year?
Self-reflection is one of the most painful, uncomfortable, and beneficial things a church leader can do.
Reflect on how you handled yourself in various situations this past year. Were there new things about your personality or leadership that came out this year? Did you find that you enjoy doing different things than normal? What was hard for you? This also can go beyond just a ministry lens, such as, how did you grow as a person in the past 12 months? How about in your family or in friendships?
4. What have you learned about leadership this year?
Hopefully, you grew as a leader in the last year. Did you read any leadership books? Go to any conferences? Did you talk with anyone who has more experience or more tenure in ministry? What have you learned about being a better leader in the last 12 months? How can you use what you’ve learned to be a better leader in the next 12?
Experiences aren't valuable until you learn from them. Giving yourself a chance to reflect on the past is an important agent of growth. When you are a church leader or pastor, this is even more vital because you have the ability to also benefit your church body and church future in the coming year.
Are there any other end of the year reflection practices that your church staff engages in?
If you liked this, you'll also enjoy 21 Questions Church Leaders Should Ask Themselves Every 6 Months.